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Poster: vapors Date: Dec 15, 2009 3:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

Thanks for your even tempered and well put response. I had a hard time trying to put down my perspective – I have been struggling with these feelings for a good while. I will admit that my perceptions are colored by the many good times I enjoyed during my time on tour. There is no doubt in my mind that there was a decline; the performances are readily available here and speak for themselves. It is more the tone and persistence of some posts that bothers me. Does it matter how this might affect the participation of many who visit the archive but pass on this place? I believe you made note once in reference to review versus forum contributors that caused me to wonder about that.

Jerry did drugs, he smoked, he died. His music lives on. Everyone can listen to what they want, talk about it till the sheep, cows and billy goats gruff come home. Jerry Garcia never asked anything from us, but we seem to expect so much from him? His singing, playing and songwriting were tremendous, and the recorded output is a treasure chest that we can open and freely enjoy. Everyone can listen to whatever they want – there is so much here and that in itself is the most amazing and rewarding thing to me. I certainly value what some folk contribute here and have greatly expanded my appreciation and knowledge (of a band that I never had any trouble appreciating before.) And anyone can say whatever they want – I just did.

Perhaps I should rise to your challenge and try to provide examples where the singing or playing was fine; indeed to me with Jerry’s age and condition he had a quality of emotion that was pure and real and very moving. But I believe it would be a futile enterprise for me and not worth the likelihood of causing more demeaning chatter.

It is the splendid work that folk like you put into your posts that I want to be here for. And even though I cringe when Cliff sounds off regarding what he doesn’t like, his passionate appreciation of earlier stuff is obvious and he does make compelling and insightful listening suggestions. I think it’s great that thoughts can be exchanged here and we can easily link to shows on the archive. The recommendations and analytical discussions that surface each day make visiting here well worth enduring the less attractive aspects. Thanks for enduring mine. Peace.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 15, 2009 4:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

The frequent hostility of the forum speaks for itself....some can get past it, some can't. A post like yours, though, should be put at the top of the forum page.

Garcia & the band gave us so much we can listen for years & years and still always find new things to discover, or rediscover....regardless of which years we prefer.
It's an undiscriminating soul, though, who won't sometimes be disappointed by what they hear. You mention the high standards people ask of Garcia - remember that he was the first to demand those standards of himself. This is the guy who pushed Phil down some stairs for "not playing" in a show, who spent months & months in studios getting early Dead albums (or the GD Movie) 'just right', who spent hours every day (especially between tours) practicing so he could be at the top of his form onstage, yet often expressed disappointment about the shows he played....and who wouldn't give up touring no matter what condition he was in.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 15, 2009 6:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

Hey D--no need to apologize; it's always enjoyable to kick this stuff around, for me...though I am sympathetic to the awkwardness or pain it might also engender for you. I lean toward the perspective LiA outlined: in a way, I find it "justification" when we can have in depth discussions of the good and the bad. You know, the "unexamined life ain't worth living" aspect. Sure, there is a lot of subjectivity in art, but there are some general rules that we as a species apply (again, I lean strongly away from Post Modernist rants of "all is social construct").

Now, for me it makes Jerry all the more "human" to find that there were failings and various aspects of his lifestyle that contributed to a decline. This isn't meant for you because you articulated a well-reasoned appreciation of the man/group, but those that reject all criticism as taboo (in many domains one finds these sorts) to me go too far the other direction.

Take for example my old man. I can now look back with love and affection while assessing/accepting his many failings. Time and distance allows it of course, and yet, if I were to ignore or subvert the foibles and mis-steps of his I think it would be a dis-service to a full appreciation of what he did in this world and his relationship to me. Not sure if that makes any sense but I see a parallel.

So, while I still "worship" the DEAD, I find that critical discussion, esp because I am not musically inclined and need help (really), helps me appreciate them even more.

Hope this doesn't come off as patronizing cause I don't mean it to be along the lines of "if you were enlightened you could love and evaluate them like I do!"...just trying to describe my take on why all of this can be worthwhile.

Now, I do try to steer away from ever implying so and so is a douche because they think 81 is good, and I don't. In fact, BillyD made some excellent points in this thread, and it helped me appreciate 81 and him as well.

I really loved his putting a fine point on it all with his comment: "is it Tell or Grendel!?" since of course we all know it's ME. Seriously though, that was an excellent point.

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Poster: vapors Date: Dec 16, 2009 12:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

Coming back to this and finding that your words are sinking in a little better, I thought it would be appropriate to say thanks for the response. The parallel example of your dad does make a lot of sense, in addition to striking a personal nerve as well. At first I was thinking you were being sarcastic (!) when you said there was no need to apologize. Man I have to stop being so sensitive. Thanks to you (and LiA) for making the effort that has helped me out of my grumbling state.